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Best bookkeeping software for small businesses

Susan Honea

Susan Honea – 8 years experience helping businesses with bookkeeping, tax preparation and auditing

Last updated: August 13, 2020

Need to improve your bookkeeping process within your small business? We’ve saved you time and evaluated 10 of the best bookkeeping software to help you find the right fit for your financial needs.

Best bookkeeping software for small businesses

Small business owners have a lot on their plates. Not only are they responsible for interfacing with clients, making sure that projects are completed, and selling products, but also for keeping records about their businesses. The recordkeeping part may seem daunting for many entrepreneurial small business owners who begin with a dream in mind, only to realize the nitty gritty of business ownership is, well, not fun.

The basic functionality that most businesses will require include income and expense tracking and bank reconciliations. The additional features you need in a bookkeeping software will depend largely on the type of business you run. For example, if you are based in an office, a desktop software might work well, but if you are on the go quite a lot, mobile access will be important. In addition, you may need specific functionality, such as CRM, proposals and quotes, payroll, inventory management, multiple bank accounts, sales tax tracking, multiple payment methods, integrations, multi-entity support, and accountant access. Reporting is also important functionality, but it is important to balance the types of reports you need against the cost and robustness of the software you choose.

Ease of use is always a consideration. As a small business owner, you don’t want to spend countless hours completing your bookkeeping tasks; you want to streamline that process as much as possible. Therefore, finding the software that suits your needs and eases your bookkeeping burden is the first step.

Here’s our list of the best bookkeeping software options for small businesses:

  1. QuickBooks Online. Best overall bookkeeping software for small businesses. QuickBooks was designed for bookkeepers initially but has grown into a robust accounting option available in a range of packages. There’s a QuickBooks option suitable for every set of needs, and most small business bookkeepers will find the ever-popular QBO meets—or exceeds—their needs effectively.
  2. Xero. Best bookkeeping software for small businesses that want integrations. Small business bookkeepers on the go may want to consider Xero. Features bookkeepers might find appealing are the automations, hundreds of possible integrations, and expansive mobile functions.
  3. FreshBooks. Best bookkeeping software for small contract-based businesses. The small business bookkeeper looking particularly for strong invoicing and expense tracking should take a look at FreshBooks. It’s a simple option that does offer double-entry accounting and the multi-project support that many freelancing or contracting businesses might need.
  4. Zoho Books. Best bookkeeping software for mobile small businesses. Already using other Zoho products? If so, ZohoBooks might be your best bet for its seamless integration with the Zoho ecosystem. Even bookkeepers not using other Zoho offerings will find Zoho a respectable stand-alone option for bookkeeping needs.
  5. Sage 50cloud. Best bookkeeping software for small businesses that need multi-entity support. Experienced bookkeepers will find Sage 50cloud a good candidate to meet their small business needs. Sage 50cloud is versatile and flexible and offers multi-entity support.
  6. Wave. The only free option on this list, Wave provides the functionality any bookkeeper would need plus features that are just nice to have. It’s a good match for businesses operating on a smaller budget.
  7. GoDaddy Bookkeeping. GoDaddy offers a simple bookkeeping solution for online sellers and other self-employed small businesses. GoDaddy is not a double-entry accounting software; its main focus is making detailed tasks easy and painless.
  8. Kashoo. Kashoo provides the small business bookkeeper with a simple, easy-to-use software. It’s a double-entry option that doesn’t get too complex.
  9. AccountEdge Pro. AccountEdge Pro may be a bit robust for bookkeeping needs as it includes the major accounting modules needed. However, it’s flexible and easy to use, and it’s one of the few desktop options available these days.
  10. FreeAgent. Bookkeepers working in a small business in need of support in multiple currencies or multiple languages will appreciate FreeAgent’s strong capabilities in those areas. It’s also a good option for bookkeepers using Apple products.

Best bookkeeping software for small businesses

1. QuickBooks Online

Price from $25.00/mo
Free Trial 30 Days

Best overall bookkeeping software for small businesses.

Best for:
QuickBooks Online is a highly favored bookkeeping option among small businesses, and indeed, businesses of all types and sizes up to 50 or so employees. Sole proprietorships, startups, inventory-based businesses, online sellers, and service based entities can make use of QuickBooks Online’s bookkeeping features.

QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based software with mobile apps for both Android and iOS. A flexible, scalable option, QuickBooks Online meets the needs of small business bookkeepers for accounts receivable and accounts payable functionality. Sending invoices is easy in QuickBooks Online, and estimates can be converted effortlessly into quotes and emailed directly from QuickBooks Online, simplifying the process to receive payment. Paying bills and organizing receipts is also quick and painless using QuickBooks Online’s accounts payable function. The software helps with paying contractors and issuing 1099s, too.

The bank reconciliation process is simple and can be partially to fully automated, depending on how the transactions are downloaded. Bookkeepers who take advantage of QuickBooks Online’s built-in bank feed feature will need only minutes to complete an end-of-period reconciliation, but bookkeepers who prefer a manual process (or who can’t for some reason sync a bank feed) will find the reconciliation process straightforward, too.

QuickBooks Online helps with tracking sales tax and mileage, as well. However, small businesses requiring access for multiple users will need to buy one of the more advanced plans. The good news is that payroll is built-in (though it does cost extra). QuickBooks Online is a flexible and scalable offering that includes add-on options and integrations that allow it to do more than most bookkeeping software.

The most common report data is visible on the dashboard at all times. However, reports are easy to run with a simple click and are customizable. Bookkeepers will find the basic reports they need—profit and loss, expenses, balance sheets—in QuickBooks Online’s Simple Start plan. Sales, receivable, and payables reporting requires QuickBooks Online Essentials. To run inventory reports, comprehensive sales and profitability reports requires QuickBooks Online Plus, and QuickBooks Online Advanced includes a comprehensive set of reports, plus business analytics and insights. Many of the reports are available in the mobile app, as well. Plus, users can save their frequently-run reports—and report customizations—to a shortcuts area in the Reporting tool for re-use whenever necessary.

Ease of use:
QuickBooks Online features a user-friendly, modern interface. The setup process is quick and painless. A free trial provides users with the opportunity to try the software before buying it. QuickBooks is widely popular, so the user community is vast and can help anyone who is trying to learn how to use the software. You probably know or can easily find someone using it already, and if not, the community is active on the website. QuickBooks also provides good training opportunities.

QuickBooks Online provides many options in multiple tiers. The functionality increases with each tier, as does the price. QuickBooks does offer frequent discounts, though.

Things we liked:

  • Good mobile apps
  • Excellent user interface
  • Multiple users with permissions on most plans
  • 1099 contractor support
  • Flexible and scalable

Things we didn’t like:

  • Can get costly
  • Only single entity support is available
  • Payroll incurs an extra cost

2. Xero

Website www.xero.com
Price from $12/mo
Free Trial 30 days

Best bookkeeping software for small businesses that want integrations.

Best for:
Xero is a good bookkeeping option for freelancers, startups, and small to medium-sized businesses, especially those that need their bookkeeping on the go. Xero comes with many helpful automations, more than 700 possible integrations, and mobile functions that work even on the Apple Watch.

As a cloud-based bookkeeping option, Xero can be accessed from any device with a web browser and internet connection. Xero features double-entry bookkeeping functionality with a standard, but fully customizable, chart of accounts. Beyond tracking income and expenses, Xero provides automatic bill payment features that allow the bookkeeper to schedule bills in advance. Invoice templates can be customized, and invoice reminders can be automated. Partially-paid invoices and customer deposits are poorly supported, but the issues can be solved with workarounds.

Xero can import bank transactions automatically and suggest matches between those transactions and invoices, payments, and purchases. The bookkeeper can accept the suggestions and reconcile with a click. Xero also makes it easy to reconcile multiple transactions quickly. Beyond the basic accounting and banking functionality, Xero provides inventory management and purchase order features, fixed asset management, and contact management, along with accountant access to year-end tax prep. And, one of Xero’s best features is its versatility: it has more than 700 possible app integrations, meaning any functionality not provided in Xero already can be added with ease.

The official mobile app is robust and customizable and makes most of the major bookkeeping functions available on the go, including invoicing billing management, along with bank reconciliation. The dashboard on the mobile app also highlights cash flow and profit and loss information in real time.

Xero’s dashboard makes reporting simple. The Business Performance dashboard features graphs depicting business health in real time. Xero offers a variety of reports helpful to bookkeepers, as well, including a powerful cash flow reporting feature. Reports are fully customizable, and the user can view the calculations behind the reports, along with “favoriting” them to speed up access to commonly used ones. Reports can be shared with other Xero users and emailed to non-users. Reporting is limited on the app, though.

Ease of use:
Xero is easy to set up and use with or without bookkeeping experience. The many automation options can help with daily tasks, something a bookkeeper should appreciate. The customizable dashboard enables users to make the software more compatible with their needs. As for customer support, Xero does provide some, but most user help will come from guides and training.

Xero is relatively affordable as its most expensive plan is cheaper than most competing products. Of the three tiers of monthly plans available, the first tier will be unsuitable for all but small freelancing or contracting businesses. Any growing business will need to start with the second or third tier. Project-level tracking is locked behind the most expensive plan. Xero’s generous 30-day trial can help bookkeepers weigh the option of investing in this software.

Things we liked:

  • Excellent mobile apps
  • Affordable
  • Regular updates
  • Robust file sharing functionality
  • Hundreds of integrations

Things we didn’t like:

  • Poor customer support
  • Feature set in lowest-cost plan is restrictive
  • Limited budgeting capabilities

3. FreshBooks

Price from $15/mo
Free Trial 30 days

Best bookkeeping software for small contract-based businesses.

Best for:
If you’re self-employed and looking to keep your own books, FreshBooks is a bookkeeping software option to consider. However, Freshbooks can meet the needs of most small businesses, especially those with multiple projects going at once.

FreshBooks is cloud-based, like most modern bookkeeping software, and is accessible anywhere via browser and internet access. FreshBooks’s mobile apps typically receive favorable reviews, although the apps provide no reporting capability.

New FreshBooks provides double-entry accounting, an improvement over its classic iteration. Invoicing and payment collection can be managed through FreshBooks or through integration with Stripe. Estimates and proposals can be converted easily to invoices. Invoices can be customized and set to recur. Advanced plans feature automatic payment reminders and late fee calculations. And, if clients pay a retainer in advance, the software automatically invoices against the retainer fee and bills only for hours over that amount. However, even though there is strong expense tracking functionality, there is no native accounts payable feature.

Bank integration and multi-currency support are possible through FreshBooks, which also streamlines expense tracking, allowing attachment of receipt photos. In addition, the software automatically categorizes expenses. FreshBooks also supports team and project management, multi-project management, mileage tracking, and time tracking, but you’ll have to use an integration for payroll.

FreshBooks enables dashboard access for profit and loss, sales tax summary, accounts aging, expense, payments collected, invoice details, and additional advanced accounting reports. In other words, FreshBooks probably offers more reports than a typical bookkeeper would need. Reports can be filtered by date, team member, or client to aid the user in analyzing financial information.

Ease of use:
FreshBooks features a clean, simple interface. Even those with no accounting experience can use FreshBooks effectively. The customer service personnel at FreshBooks are known for being friendly and helpful. Plus, FreshBooks provides solid training materials.

FreshBooks provides a range of monthly pricing options, depending upon the plan selected. As far as cost goes, FreshBooks is in the middle of the pack—not the most expensive, but definitely not the cheapest either. Price increases as the number of billable clients and users are added. Going over 500 clients requires custom pricing but comes with an account manager, lower rates for credit card transactions, and custom training. Like Xero, FreshBooks offers a 30-day free trial.

Things we liked:

  • Good automation functionality
  • Expense records
  • Lots of app integrations
  • User-friendly client portal
  • Referral program

Things we didn’t like:

  • Lacks native accounts payable and payroll
  • Most plans are single-user
  • No user permissions

4. Zoho Books

Website www.zoho.com
Price from $12/mo

Best bookkeeping software for mobile small businesses.

Best for:
Those already in the Zoho ecosystem will want to begin the search for bookkeeping software with Zoho Books, which comes with full ecosystem integration. Zoho Books can function as a stand-alone bookkeeping solution, too, so don’t think you have to buy other products in the Zoho ecosystem to use it.

Cloud-based and accessible from anywhere from any device with a browser and internet access, Zoho Books is a full-featured double entry accounting product. The dashboard provides a quick overview of income, expenses, sales, and so on. Invoices and estimates are customizable and easy to use. Recurring and pre-scheduled invoices can be set up, along with automated payment reminders. Invoicing provides features for retainer payments, too. Clients can view and manage their own transactions and pay through the client portal. In fact, Zoho Books enables contact management of clients and vendors.

The bank reconciliation feature in the banking module precludes manual data entry. Instead, the user can sync a bank feed and reconcile easily, along with matching and categorizing transactions quickly. Like most cloud-based bookkeeping software packages, Zoho Books learns your transactions as you enter or download and categorize them, saving you time in the future.

Small businesses in need of payroll with their bookkeeping software will find that Zoho Books, as part of the Zoho ecosystem, integrates seamlessly with Zoho Payroll. Businesses needing inventory management can add the Zoho inventory module. Zoho Projects can add project management features, including budgeting, and bookkeepers for small businesses with fixed assets that need to be tracked and depreciated will appreciate the comprehensiveness of Zoho Books’ fixed asset manager.

Zoho Books also provides mobile apps that far outpace the competition. While the Apple Watch app does have limited functionality compared to other Zoho Books mobile device offerings, mobile users are likely to overlook that detail because of the other mobile functionality that’s available.

Zoho Books provides robust reporting, including profit and loss, balance sheet, and cash flow statements. In fact, according to the website, Zoho Books includes more than 50 built-in reports. Reports can be generated at any time—even scheduled ahead of time, too—and customized extensively. Reporting tools are simple and easy to use. Zoho Books can also generate tax reports and audit trails.

Ease of use:
Zoho Books is easy to set up and learn. Users already in the Zoho ecosystem will find it especially easy to learn. It integrates seamlessly with other products in the Zoho ecosystem, making it a flexible system with some good extra options. Integrations outside of the Zoho ecosystem are difficult, though. Zoho Books provides step by step guides to help users set up the bank reconciliation feature.

Zoho Books is generally affordable. Monthly plans increase in cost as the amount of features added increase, so it’s possible to find the sweet spot between pricing and features if Zoho Books appeals to you.

Things we liked:

  • Excellent mobile apps
  • Robust yet simple reporting features
  • Affordable
  • Part of the Zoho ecosystem
  • Easy to create custom integrations

Things we didn’t like:

  • Can be difficult to customize
  • Bank feed can be problematic
  • Feature set can be too much for a small business

5. Sage 50cloud

Price from $50.58/mo

Best bookkeeping software for small businesses that need multi-entity support. 

Best for:
Businesses in need of versatile bookkeeping with a comprehensive, flexible feature set can look to Sage 50cloud. Sage 50cloud offers not only multi-user but multi-entity support, for which it stands out in the crowd.

Sage 50cloud provides strong accounting functionality, including solid income and expense features and easy cash flow management. Invoice templates are customizable and can be duplicated quickly or made recurring. Sage 50cloud also features a unique Office 365 integration that some small businesses will find helpful. Invoices can be sent quickly through Outlook. Proposals and quotes can be converted easily to invoices.

Sage 50 cloud allows you to connect banks accounts and credit cards. Transactions are imported automatically for easy reconciliation, including automatic reconciliation of matching transactions. However, because Sage 50cloud doesn’t employ machine learning on expense tracking, expenses must be categorized manually.

Sage 50cloud features customer relationship management functionality and tax and reporting compliance tools. Payroll is available for an additional cost, as are direct deposit, audit trail, budgeting, job costing, multi-company support, and user level permissions.

Multiple users can access cloud-based Sage 50cloud remotely. However, accessing the full feature set requires installation on a computer, making it a hybrid product. Sage 50cloud doesn’t provide a comprehensive mobile app, but Sage Capture does allow users to take pictures of receipts. Sage Business Cloud Accounting is an app limited to invoicing and payments.

Sage 50cloud offers strong reporting capabilities. A variety of customizable reports are available through Sage 50cloud. The really helpful feature of the Sage 50cloud reporting function is that reports are interactive, and users can click through them to see more detailed information.

Ease of use:
Sage 50cloud is easy to set up and flexible. The interface is widely considered intuitive for those with accounting or bookkeeping experience, but it presents a steep learning curve for those without the experience. Sage 50cloud does provide some online learning tools for users who are struggling to learn the software.

Sage 50cloud can be a bit pricier than its competitors. The software does come in a range of monthly packages with increasing prices for increasing features. Upgrades, add-ons, and more users increase the price, too.

Things we liked:

  • Strong compliance features
  • Supports multiple companies on a single platform
  • Full-featured
  • Integration with Office 365
  • Flexible reporting options

Things we didn’t like:

  • No mobile app
  • Not cost effective for very small businesses
  • Limited machine learning

6. Wave

Price from FREE/mo

Best for:
Bookkeepers on a budget will be hard-pressed to find a better price for such an impressive feature set. Wave is free, and the free version offers all of the functionality any bookkeeper would need, even one working with multiple entities. Some features, such as payroll and payment processing do have an associated cost, but Wave can still be a good option with those needs.

Wave is a double-entry accounting option that provides in its free version all the features most small businesses would need to keep the books, including unlimited clients, invoicing, and expense tracking. Its income and expense management functions are robust. Automatic payment reminders and bank and credit card feeds help shorten the bookkeeper’s daily task list. Invoices are customizable, and estimates can be converted easily to invoices. Sales tax is calculated for you. Wave can also be set up to send reminders and receipts.

Wave’s free version includes billable expense and some time tracking, along with multi-entity support, multi-currency support, and basic contact management features. Wave Money provides a business bank account, a debit card, and a mobile app to allow the user to integrate their business account directly into the software seamlessly.

The payroll feature costs extra, but it’s helpful in that the payroll module allows employees to see their W2s, pay stubs, and bank information. In some states the module can even file payroll taxes automatically.

Wave is cloud-based and accessible via any browser and an internet connection. Wave provides two mobile apps limited to specific functions: Wave Invoicing and Receipts by Wave.

Wave enables accrual and cash basis reporting. Cash flow, profit and loss, trial balance, and sales tax reports are available with Wave. Overall, Wave’s reporting ability is not as robust as some competitors, but it’s still enough for most small business bookkeepers.

Ease of use:
Setup is simple, and Wave is easy to navigate and use, providing many automated features, including bank and credit card automations beneficial to the bookkeeper. The dashboard provides a clear overview of business health. The Wave user community is active and helpful for those who need the extra assistance, and the Help Center is easy to navigate and provides numerous tutorials and guides.

Wave is free (and ad free), which is a price that’s hard to beat. Extra modules—for example, payroll and payment processing—do incur a cost, but they are cost effective.

Things we liked:

  • Very cost effective (yep, free!)
  • Easy setup and navigation
  • Excellent workflow automation
  • Multi-entity option
  • Friendly customer support

Things we didn’t like:

  • No multi-user support
  • Limited scalability
  • Mobile apps aren’t comprehensive

7. GoDaddy Bookkeeping

Price from $4.99/mo

Best for:
Do you need a simple cash-basis bookkeeping solution? GoDaddy can provide that, along with easy syncing with Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and PayPal. Online sellers and the self-employed are the typical GoDaddy candidates.

Another cloud-based option, GoDaddy is a simple option that doesn’t require any accounting knowledge or experience to use. It provides the basic tools to help small businesses attend to the books easily. GoDaddy also provides a mobile app that syncs with the account and can be used to enter transactions.

Although invoicing allows for little by way of customization, creating invoices is easy. Plus, GoDaddy can automatically remind the user of overdue invoices, and clients can pay through GoDaddy by check, cash, PayPal, credit card, or bank accounts online. The bookkeeper can create and send estimates, which clients can then accept (or not) online. Estimates can be quickly converted into invoices.

Expenses can be labeled as personal or business if they use the same bank account for both (which isn’t a recommended practice, but apparently it happens). Tracking expenses is limited to the two highest subscription tiers, though.

GoDaddy integrates with Yodlee for bank synchronization. The software can import credit card statements and other bank statements. However, there is no real bank reconciliation feature, which could be a deal breaker for a bookkeeper with a lot of transactions to reconcile. Those with fewer may not mind the absence of this feature.

GoDaddy does help with quarterly tax calculation and provides time tracking capability. The software does have (very) basic contact management functionality. The two top plans are required for tax preparation. Larger companies will not be able to use the automatic tax preparation features easily. GoDaddy doesn’t provide payroll services, although bookkeepers who use a payroll service already can create a wage category for tax purposes.

Reporting is not available with the basic tier GoDaddy offers, but rather requires monthly purchase of one of the top two tiers. Even with the highest tier, reporting capability is limited to profit and loss, sales by state, and a few other reports related to income, expense, and invoicing.

Ease of use:
GoDaddy Bookkeeping is simple and easy to set up and use, even without accounting or bookkeeping knowledge. One issue that complicates the user experience is GoDaddy Bookkeeping does not recognize duplicate transactions, so user diligence is required.

All three GoDaddy monthly plans are relatively cheap. However, even the second and third tier plans may not have as much functionality as similarly-priced competitors.

Things we liked:

  • Affordable (even the highest subscription level)
  • No bookkeeping knowledge required
  • Strong invoicing workflow
  • Reseller platform integration
  • Quarterly tax calculations for sole proprietors

Things we didn’t like:

  • Lacks bank reconciliation feature
  • Limited true bookkeeping functionality
  • Poor tax support

8. Kashoo

Website www.kashoo.com
Price from $24/mo
Free Trial 14 days

Best for:
Kashoo is an affordable multi-user solution for those who want their bookkeeping simple and straightforward. Ideal for project-based and consulting-focused businesses, Kashoo can export information to other products, like QuickBooks Online, if outgrown.

Another cloud-based bookkeeping option based on double-entry accounting, Kashoo ticks enough of the boxes to make it a viable candidate to meet small business needs. Through Kashoo, the bookkeeper can track income and expenses through the real-time summary reports always visible in the sidebar. Kashoo also automatically shows the user bills that are not yet paid and ones that are recurring.

Kashoo’s invoicing feature is basic, but invoices and bills can be marked easily as purchase or sales orders. Invoices can be set to recur and can be emailed directly from within the software. The user can set sales tax rates. Kashoo doesn’t have any estimate capabilities, though, nor does it provide time tracking.

Kashoo provides bank reconciliation features through integration with Yodlee. The software suggests transaction matches, which the bookkeeper can accept or repurpose. For those who don’t want to import bank transactions into Kashoo, the software does allow the user to tick boxes online manually to reconcile and save the work.

Other features include multi-currency capability and adequate contact management. Kashoo does allow unlimited users; however Kashoo offers mobile apps only for Apple products and not Android. Users who need payroll functionality can access it through an integration with Paychex, allowing them to process payroll via SurePayroll or Paychex Payroll. And, multi-entity support is available at an extra cost.

Kashoo’s reporting functionality is limited, but most reports that bookkeepers need are included. Customization of reports is limited, too. Reports can be exported easily, however.

Ease of use:
Kashoo’s interface is simple and requires no bookkeeping or accounting experience for use. Income and expenses are easy to track and access. Also, access to guides, the help center, and chat are built right into the software, making it easy for users to get help. Kashoo provides good customer support, too.

Kashoo is relatively affordable, but it must be noted that some competitors do offer more for a similar price. The 14-day free trial can help you decide if Kashoo is right for you. One deciding factor might be the multi-user capability. Although Kashoo offers one flat-rate monthly plan, paying annually does save money. The payroll module and multi-company support is pricey, though.

Things we liked:

  • Affordable
  • Allows multiple users
  • Friendly customer support
  • Invoice workflow automations
  • Bank reconciliation and AI

Things we didn’t like:

  • Lacks desirable reports
  • Only an iOS mobile app available
  • Limited user interface features

9. AccountEdge Pro

Price from $10.00/mo

Best for:
AccountEdge Pro is a full-featured bookkeeping solution for users who prefer not to work in the cloud. If your small business needs a cost-effective, comprehensive feature set installed on a local computer, AccountEdge Pro may be a good choice for you.

While it might be a bit much for many bookkeepers—including, as it does, all modules needed for accounting—AccountEdge Pro will appeal to those who want a more robust option with double-entry accounting. Bookkeepers who need not only accounts payable and receivable functionality, along with a general ledger, but also payroll, time tracking, and inventory, and many customizable forms will definitely want to take a look at this option.

Reconciling bank accounts is easy with AccountEdge Pro. Users can download bank or credit card statements and match transactions quickly. Its flexibility makes it a good fit for a variety of business types. There are more than 100 Chart of Accounts templates to choose from within AccountEdge Pro. AccountEdge Pro will allow users to set up recurring transactions of all types and track mileage for company vehicles. Multi-department support makes it easy to send relevant information to different departments within a company.

And, though AccountEdge Pro is a desktop software option, users can access remote functions through a service called AccountEdge Connect for a monthly fee. AccountEdge Pro is also available in a Mac format. At this time, AccountEdge Pro offers no mobile apps.

AccountEdge Pro provides the capability to customize dozens of reports and save them as templates. The software also allows the user to create and print report batches. The Business Insights function calculates important information about the company, including data on profits, turnover, and operating balances. However, Business Insights is limited to Mac users only.

As a desktop option, AccountEdge Pro is available for a one-time fee. Payroll is available by subscription and costs extra. Phone support access and additional licenses also cost extra. Remote access is only available via AccountEdge Connect, a monthly subscription browser-based service. AccountEdge Pro does offer a free trial.

Things we liked:

  • Comprehensive feature set
  • Affordable for most small businesses
  • Scalable desktop solution
  • Multi-user support
  • Excellent reporting functionality

Things we didn’t like:

  • Weak customer support
  • Remote access is limited
  • Some features are only available to Mac users

10. FreeAgent

Website Freeagent.com
Price from $9.50/mo
Free Trial 30 Days

Best for:
FreeAgent is a bookkeeping option that is especially good for UK-based business owners, but can also meet the bookkeeping needs of American small businesses, as well. FreeAgent brings online estimate functionality, easy invoicing, automated expense management, project tracking, time tracking, bank syncing, and sales tax support to the table.

Another double-entry accounting option, FreeAgent includes expansive multi-currency, multi-language, and multi-sales tax support. A gallery of templates can be customized with the business logo and sent to clients easily via PDF/email or printed and mailed. Users can set invoices to recur and can set up automated reminders. Estimates convert quickly and easily to invoices. Expenses can also be set to recur, and receipts can be captured and uploaded via mobile phone. FreeAgent integrates with Yodlee for bank feeds, and it allows users to upload electronic bank statements.

Other features include fixed asset management, time tracking, billable time tracking, project features, and contact and vendor management functions, but its inventory management features aren’t all that comprehensive, and managing inventory items is cumbersome. FreeAgent doesn’t include tax support for U.S. users, but does for those in the U.K. However, the software does allow numerous integrations with other software for almost every imaginable purpose, including online selling, CRM, and data analysis.

FreeAgent is cloud based and syncs across devices. FreeAgent mobile apps are available for both Android and Apple, providing the ability to track financial information on the go, along with snapping photos of receipts and tracking expenses.

Profit and loss information can be accessed through a live feed, and reporting includes not only profit and loss, but also balance sheet, trial balance, capital assets, aged debts, and aged credits reports.

Ease of use:
With its well-organized dashboard and flexible customization, FreeAgent is easy to learn and use. If supplied the right data, FreeAgent can automatically create business accounts. For users who need help with the software, the help center with its guides, webinars, and user-generated content will be the best best. Email responses tend to be slow, and the class center is only readily accessible for UK users.

FreeAgent is relatively inexpensive, and there is only one monthly price plan. Users that are just switching over can get a 50% discount, and paying for the entire year will also bring a discount. FreeAgent also provides a 30-day free trial.

Things we liked:

  • Allows multiple users
  • Simple setup and navigation
  • Affordable
  • Robust double-entry accounting
  • Good customer support

Things we didn’t like:

  • Bank feeds can be challenging to set up
  • Limited inventory management features
  • No multi-entity support


What is the difference between bookkeeping and accounting software?

Typically, there’s no difference in the software because bookkeeping and accounting overlap quite a bit. Bookkeepers will use the features of accounting software that allow them to do invoicing, record accounts payable and accounts receivable transactions, plus reconcile bank statements, perhaps run payroll (depending upon the type of business), and run reports for the business owner or accountant. While bookkeepers may sometimes work with tax preparation features in software, accountants will definitely want it, along with audit trail functionality, and probably project management. Accountants will need tools that allow them to analyze and interpret data. So, the real question here is how much accounting functionality a small business needs to keep the books.

Why does my bookkeeper need accounting software? Can’t a bookkeeper just use spreadsheets to keep the books for my business?

There are several important reasons to provide the person keeping your books with software. First of all, time is money, and the odds are good you are paying your bookkeeper, so saving time for your bookkeeper saves you money. This is true if you are a business owner keeping your own books because your time is also worth money. Software can automate many tasks and make all transactions easier and less time consuming while also promoting accuracy. Good software also makes running reports quick and easy, keeping you on top of your business’s financial health.

What are the main features bookkeeping software should include? What should I look for in bookkeeping software?

Bookkeepers typically focus on recording income and expenses, recording bank transactions and reconciling accounts. Bookkeeping software should certainly enable these tasks. Beyond these basic bookkeeping tasks, you will need to use your judgment. For example, some bookkeepers may do payroll, and most will probably need to run reports. Do you need your software to support these functions, too? In addition, think about how you or your bookkeeper will need to access the software. Is your bookkeeper working remotely? How much bookkeeping or accounting experience does he or she have? How about you? Finally, consider the price you are willing to pay to keep your books in order.

What about taxes? Can bookkeeping software file my taxes for me?

Bookkeeping software won’t do this, but it will help you organize your information to make tax time a lot easier!

Which bookkeeping software is best for my small business?

Small businesses come in many forms and often have widely diverging needs. The best approach is to consider the features you need to make your bookkeeping easier and read the reviews here to help you find a solution that works for you.


SEE ALSO: Best accounting software for small business


Bookkeepers are the ones on the front lines of small businesses doing the grunt work every day. Bookkeepers make sure that records are accurate, all financial transactions are recorded, accounts balance, and bank transactions are reconciled. There’s a lot to juggle here, which is why good bookkeeping software is essential to maintain accuracy, save money, and make the bookkeepers’ burden a bit lighter.